To kick of our Featured Mum Series, below is a Q and A from an inspiring NZ Mum currently living her dream and raising a family in Southland.
Wendy Frew is captain of the Southern Steel Netball Team and just finished her 17th and final season with the franchise. Wendy has had a huge 5 years including having both her children, winning back to back ANZ National Premierships 2017/2018, being involved in a serious car crash last year which left her hospitalised, then fighting back to play in the final of the Premiership, being picked to trial for the Silver Ferns then injuring herself badly, resulting in not being able to trial and needing surgery. This mum never stops fighting back for herself and her family. Wendy has also just announced her retirement, finishing up at the end of the 2018 season after 17 seasons with the franchise. Southern Steel just won the ANZ premiership on Sunday by 1 goal, with an absolutely nail biting finish! What a way to finish Wendy!!! We are very proud at The Motherhood Project.
Tell us about yourself, your career and your family.
I’ll start with my greatest achievement – my family. Married to Trent, we are blessed with two fantastic kids – Archie 5, and Indie 2.
Family is incredibly important to me. I have seven siblings, including my twin sister Debbie, so growing up was full of fun, adventure and sport! The Telfer Clan has expanded considerably as six of us are married now with 13 kids in the mix.
Sport has always been a massive part of my life and I’ve been honoured to represent my province and my country in both softball and netball. First selected for the Southern Sting in 2002, this is my 17th season with the franchise, now called the Steel. I’m a proud Southlander so to play for my home region for so long has been awesome.
What’s your most memorable moment of being a mum so far?
My most memorable moment when I first became a mum was having cuddles and looking at Archie thinking how amazing it was and how lucky I was. It melted my heart and I was so proud
What's the hardest thing about being a mum? How have you dealt with it?
The hardest thing for me is being away from the kids. I spend a lot of time training and travelling with the Steel and I really battle not being close to them. As they’ve grown older we’ve been able to use technology like Snapchat and Skype to connect which has made it easier, but nothing can replace those actual real-life cuddles!
How do you balance the demands of family life and your career with the Steel?
Trent is amazing when I go away with netball. I know the kids are loved and well looked after which allows me to concentrate on doing my job for the team. I’ve been so lucky he has supported and loved me through it all so I can continue to achieve my sporting goals. Trent is definitely my rock. My extended family has also been fantastic – we couldn’t begin to repay them for all the help they’ve given us.
What’s something you and your children like to do together?
We like to have sleep-overs in the lounge. We pull the kids mattresses out and have some fun family time. We often do homemade pizzas on this night and watch a movie. (photo attached)
If you could go back in time to one moment, what would it be?
I would love to have had more time in the black dress. Being in the Silver Ferns environment was fantastic but my biggest netball regret is getting just one quarter on the court. I’d love to go back in time and change that.
What advice would you give a new mum? Anything you wish you did differently when you were a new mother?
I wish I had let the baby sleep on me more. As a new mum you get given so much advice, especially around routines and structure, so I was pretty strict on making sure they went into their bassinet to sleep. Now I realise how precious that time together really is because they grow up so quickly. You have to cherish every moment and your baby falling asleep on you is one of the most incredible feelings.
What’s a great parenting tip you’ve learnt?
A great parenting tip I have learnt is ring my mum Karen or Trent's mum Yvonne. I feel like they always have the answers and have experienced the situation.
Biggest challenge you’ve ever faced in your life was/is:
Biggest challenge I’ve ever faced in my life was doing my Achilles in 2017. It was tough injury and really challenging having 2 kids and trying to be a mum when I was very limited to what I could do for the first 8 weeks. It was an extremely tough time for myself, Trent and the kids. But it's all in the past now and everything worked out.
What’s the best thing about being a mum?
It’s the unexpected moments – like the things they say which just make your heart swell. After a game they don’t care what the score is … which can be great if we lose!
Being a mum has taught me perspective and it’s been a great reality check as to what my priorities are. Nothing comes before family.